These Childhood Cancer Survivors Recreated Their Viral Photo Three Years Later | 22 Words

Back in 2014, photographer Lora Scantling’s father was losing his fight to lung cancer, so she wanted to do something “that spoke a thousand words that would draw emotion”.

That something turned out to be photographing three little girls battling cancer.

One beautiful image from the photo shoot showed then three-year-old Rylie, six-year-old Rheann, and four-year-old Ainsley in a supportive embrace, and the image quickly went viral.

via: Scantling Photography

“I chose childhood cancer because I also have a friend who had lost her little boy to cancer a few years before that," she explained. “I put a post out on Facebook seeking little girls who were fighting cancer, and the portrait was born!"

The girls became instant friends, and now all three of them are cancer-free, and they reunite each year to take a new portrait together.

via: Scantling Photography

This particular image is from 2015.

“We plan to do the portrait every single year for as long as the girls and the world want us to!" said Scantling.

via: Scantling Photography

This is from 2016.

Scantling recently posted the 2017 version on her Facebook page, and as you can see, the girls are thriving.

via: Scantling Photography

In the photo, they have a gold ribbon, which represents childhood cancer awareness, and they also took one posing in the same embrace.

via: Scantling Photography

The photographer said she and the families hope the girls can continue to inspire people and raise awareness around childhood cancer.

via: Scantling Photography

“There needs to be more funding for childhood cancer so that they can update treatments," Scantling said, citing the fact that only four percent of federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to pediatric cancers.

via: Scantling Photography

The girls weren't the only ones who enjoyed the shoots though, as Scantling loves working with the girls.

via: Scantling Photography

She described Rheann as “sassy and sweet," Rylie as “shy and goofy," and Ainsley as “wild and silly, with the sweetest most tender voice!"

via: Scantling Photography

During the latest photo session, the three girls reflected on their cancer battles.

via: Scantling Photography

Rheann said, “Cancer is like a dragon," to which Ainsley responded, “Yeah, and chemo is the prince." “Cancer messed with the wrong princesses!" Rylie added. “They know what this portrait means to the world," Scantling said. "They know they are making a difference."